(June 6, 2011) Guthrie, Okla. – The Pollard Theatre Company concludes its 24 Seasons of Laughter with the imaginative new musical, Passing Strange. Universally applauded for its originality, deep emotional resonance and powerful score, Passing Strange, featuring W. Jerome Stevenson, opens June 10th.

 

From the mind of singer-songwriter and performance artist Stew, comes Passing Strange, the semi-autobiographical story of a young black man who leaves behind his middle-class, church-ruled upbringing in mid-1970s Los Angeles to travel to Europe in search of his artistic and personal identity, or what he calls “the real.” In the end, he discovers that cultural complexity—and hypocrisy—are not limited to middle-class American life, and that only love is truly real.

 

In addition to Stevenson as ‘Narrator’, Passing Strange features an extraordinarily talented ensemble cast, including Rhianna Mack, DeLanie Brewer, Jennifer Teel, Tyrone Stanley, Matthew Alvin Brown, and Gerrin Mitchell as the story’s central character, ‘Youth.’

 

Stevenson, who also serves as the Pollard’s Artistic Director and co-music director, believes the show is unlike anything ever produced by the Pollard. “I think the writing is just phenomenal. It doesn’t talk down to its audience,” said Stevenson. “In addition, the music is phenomenal. It’s everything from gospel to punk rock. I was blown away from the moment I first heard it, I can honestly say I had never heard a Broadway score that was anything like it.”

 

Intended for a mature audience, Passing Strange breaks theatrical convention is best described, by creator Stew, as a play that was a cross between a rock concert and a musical.

 

Charles Isherwood from The New York Times raves, “Passing Strange is bursting at the seams with melodic songs, and it features a handful of theatrical performances to treasure. Call it a rock concert with a story to tell, trimmed with a lot of great jokes. Or call it a sprawling work of performance art, complete with angry rants and scary drag queens. Call it whatever you want, really. I’ll just call it wonderful.”

 

Passing Strange runs Friday, June 10, 2011 through Sunday, June 26, 2011. Tickets range in price from $15.00-25.00 and can be purchased online at www.thepollard.org or by calling (405) 282-2800.

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